Search Health Information
Infectious mononucleosis, also known as mononucleosis, "mono," or glandular fever, is characterized by swollen lymph glands and chronic fatigue.
Infectious mononucleosis is either caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or the cytomegalovirus, both of whom are members of the herpes simplex virus family. Consider the following statistics:
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) may cause infectious mononucleosis in adolescents and young adults. However, even after the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis have disappeared, the EBV will remain dormant in the throat and blood cells during that person's lifetime. The virus can reactivate periodically, however, usually without symptoms.
Mononucleosis usually lasts for one to two months. The following are the most common symptoms of mononucleosis. However, each adolescent may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Once a person has had mononucleosis, the virus remains dormant for the rest of that person's life. Once a person has been exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus, a person is usually not at risk for developing mononucleosis again.
The symptoms of the mononucleosis may resemble other medical conditions. Always consult your adolescent's physician for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination of your adolescent, a diagnosis of mononucleosis is usually based on reported symptoms. However, diagnosis can be confirmed with specific blood tests and other laboratory tests, including:
Mononucleosis is often spread through contact with infected saliva from the mouth. Symptoms can take between four to six weeks to appear and usually do not last beyond four months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Transmission is impossible to prevent, according to the CDC, because even symptom-free people can carry the virus in their saliva.
Alleviating symptoms of mononucleosis may include the following:
Click here to view the
Online Resources of Adolescent Medicine
|Pocket Doc Mobile App|
|Maps and Locations (Mobile)|
|Programs & Services|
|For Health Professionals|
|For Patients & Families|
|Find a Doctor|